Eish! Rain, cold and windy weather continues to grip SA

2019-07-25 12:05
A cold front rolls over Cape Town. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

A cold front rolls over Cape Town. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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South Africans will have to brace for continued cold weather, while the Western, Northern and Eastern Cape will face gale force winds as cold fronts make their way east.

The South African Weather Service (SAWS) issued a "Severe Weather Alert Warning" on Thursday morning for high fire danger conditions over the Enoch Mgijima and Intsika Yethu local municipalities of the Eastern Cape.

"It's because of the dry conditions that persisted over the Eastern Cape over the past few days," SAWS forecaster Bransby Bulo told News24.

"There are strong winds over those areas, which result in higher chances of fire conditions."

PICS | Snowfall, rain and bitter cold hits Cape mountain ranges

There are calm winds in the Eastern and Northern Cape currently.

Winds

The Ngqura-Coega station reported winds of 10km/h, similar to Makhanda (formerly known as Grahamstown), but even lighter winds were reported in Beaufort-West (1.4km/h) and Ladismith (1.3km/h).

Cape Point reported a wind speed of only 13.4km/h by 09:00 on Thursday, but Bulo warned that the calm conditions would soon come to an end.

"Because of the cold front that is coming from the west, the western and central parts of the country gets strong north-westerly winds ahead of the approaching cold front."

Flooding is caused by heavy rainfalls in Cape Town

Flooding is caused by heavy rainfalls in Cape Town. (Jaco Marais, Gallo Images, Netwerk24)

Motorists drive through flooded roads during heavy

Motorists drive through flooded roads during heavy rainfalls in Cape Town. (Jaco Marais, Gallo Images, Netwerk24)

Motorists drive through flooded roads during heavy

Motorists drive through flooded roads during heavy rainfalls in Cape Town. (Jaco Marais, Gallo Images, Netwerk24)

The SAWS said that winds along the coast would be strong to a gale force between Cape Point and Cape Agulhas, moderating by Thursday afternoon.

Another cold front off the west coast will follow the current one.

"There is another strong cold front that is approaching from the far west. It will reach the Western Cape by Monday. It's going to bring bad weather conditions from Monday," said Bulo.

Rain from frontal systems have helped fill up the dams that supply Cape Town.

According to the City of Cape Town, water storage in the six major dams was measured at 69.6% on Wednesday. The key Theewaterskloof dam was at 60% of capacity, compared to 41.6% in 2018.

Cold

And more significant rain is on the way as the cold fronts pass the country.

"There will be light rain from a weak cold front, but the one that is coming early next week, we think it is going to cause 80% to 100% of rain by Monday or Tuesday," said Bulo.

South Africa also experienced significant snowfalls on the high lying areas of the Western and Northern Cape provinces.

"Because of that snow, the temperatures will be low. I would say it is typical for this time of the year," Bulo said.

The SAWS will monitor the approaching cold front and advise the public accordingly, Bulo added.

"We are going to monitor it until Monday. By Saturday or even tomorrow [Friday], we are going to write an advisory about."

Selected temperatures for Thursday

City

Min

Max

Johannesburg

-1°C

18°C

Nelspruit

10°C

23°C

Polokwane

3°C

20°C

Mahikeng

-2°C

24°C

Bloemfontein

-3°C

20°C

Sutherland

-8°C

13°C

Port Elizabeth

7°C

21°C

Cape Town

9°C

17°C

Source: SAWS

 

Current Dam Water Levels - 24 July 2019

Major dams

Storage

Ml (Megalitres)

%

 

Capacity when full 

  24/7/2019 

Berg River

130 010

102.4

Steenbras Lower

33 517

59.6

Steenbras Upper

31 767

99.0

Theewaterskloof

480 188

60.0

Voëlvlei

164 095

69.1

Wemmershoek

58 644

65.8

Total Stored Ml

898 221

624 755

% Storage

 

69.6

Source: City of Cape Town


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